Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers happy with crunch Basel tie

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers

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Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers says he is happy their Champions League qualification remains in their own hands heading into the final group game against Basel on December 9.

The Reds were made to work hard for a 2-2 draw on Wednesday against Bulgarian champions Ludogorets, with the result putting the 2004/05 winners third in the table.

Two points separate Liverpool from second-placed Basel after the Swiss were defeated by group winners Real Madrid 1-0 courtesy of a Cristiano Ronaldo strike.

The Reds know a win at Anfield next month will be enough to secure a place in the knockout stages and the home atmosphere could prove pivotal to the team’s chances.

Rickie Lambert will be hoping to keep his place in the starting XI after scoring for the second consecutive game, with the former Southampton man also netting in the recent 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

Jordan Henderson managed to grab the other goal on Wednesday as the England international answered some questions that had been raised about his recent performances.

It has not been a good start to the season for Liverpool – with the club 12th in the Premier League – but qualification from the group stages in the Champions League will certainly lift the pressure on the shoulders of Rodgers.

The Reds manager, who admits his side have been below-par in domestic action, says he is pleased with the way the European campaign is panning out.

“It is all in our hands going into last game – I can’t ask any more than that,” he said. “I’m happy to rely on us playing in front of our fans in the final game.”

Liverpool are 1.77 to pick up the win against Basel in the final group game whilst the visitors are slight outsiders at 2.14.

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